How to Tune a Recurve Bow The Correct Way 

How to Tune a Recurve Bow The Correct Way 

When it comes to archery, the art of precision is essential. And what better way to achieve that accuracy than by learning how to tune a recurve bow? Whether you're a beginner or an experienced archer, fine-tuning your recurve bow is a crucial skill for hitting those bullseyes consistently. In this guide, we'll delve into the nitty-gritty of recurve bow tuning, covering everything from brace height adjustments to nocking points, string silencers, and beyond. So, let's dive right in and get you on the fast track to becoming an archery maestro!

What You'll Need: The Essentials

Before we embark on this tuning adventure, let's make sure you have all the necessary equipment:

  1. Your recurve bow, of course!
  2. Bowstring wax
  3. Bowstring serving kit
  4. Bow square
  5. Nocking pliers
  6. Bow press (optional)
  7. Allen wrenches (for adjusting limb bolts)
  8. Bowstring silencers (optional)

Step 1: Check Your Bow's Brace Height

First things first, you'll need to examine your bow's brace height. The brace height is the distance between the deepest part of the bow's grip and the string when the bow is unstrung. This measurement is crucial as it affects the bow's performance, noise level, and vibration.

How to Measure and Adjust the Brace Height

  1. Use a bow square or ruler to measure the brace height.
  2. Consult your bow manufacturer's recommended brace height range. Most recurve bows will have a suggested range of 7 to 9 inches.
  3. If your brace height falls within the recommended range, great! If not, you'll need to make some adjustments.
  4. To increase the brace height, unstring your bow and twist the string tighter. To decrease it, untwist the string.
  5. Restring your bow and measure the brace height again. Repeat the process until you reach the desired brace height.

Step 2: Set Your Nocking Point

The nocking point is the spot on the bowstring where the arrow's nock (the part that clips onto the string) rests. A correctly placed nocking point ensures proper arrow flight and improved accuracy.

How to Determine and Adjust the Nocking Point

  1. Use your bow square to find the 90-degree angle on your string.
  2. Mark the spot on the string where the square's 90-degree angle touches it.
  3. Place the nocking point approximately 1/8 to 1/4 inch above the mark.
  4. Use nocking pliers to secure a nocking point (such as a brass nock or a tied-on nock) at the designated spot.

Step 3: Fine-Tune Your Limb Alignment

Proper limb alignment is essential for achieving consistent and accurate shots. Misaligned limbs can lead to erratic arrow flight and reduced accuracy.

How to Check and Adjust Limb Alignment

  1. Unstring your bow and place it on a flat surface.
  2. Examine the limbs for any twists or bends.
  3. If you find any misalignment, use a bow press to gently correct the issue. Alternatively, you can adjust the limb bolts with an Allen wrench.

Restring your bow and check the limb alignment again. Repeat the process until the limbs are properly aligned.

Step 4: Install String Silencers (Optional)

String silencers help reduce noise and vibration, which can be especially helpful for hunters trying to remain stealthy. While not necessary for tuning a recurve bow, many archers find them beneficial.

How to Install String Silencers

  1. Choose a spot on the bowstring, typically about 10 to 12 inches from each limb tip.
  2. Separate the string strands and insert the silencer in the middle.
  3. Re-twist the string strands tightly around the silencer.
  4. Repeat the process on the other side of the bowstring.

The Pros and Cons of Tuning a Recurve Bow


  • Increased accuracy and consistency
  • Reduced noise and vibration
  • Longer bowstring life
  • Better overall bow performance


  • Can be time-consuming
  • May require specialized tools
  • Potential for damage if done incorrectly

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I tune my recurve bow?

  • It's a good idea to check your bow's tuning periodically, especially after significant use or if you notice changes in accuracy. Regular maintenance, such as waxing the bowstring and checking brace height, can help maintain proper tuning.

Can I tune a recurve bow with a sight?

  • Absolutely! The tuning process remains the same, but you'll need to adjust your sight accordingly after tuning to ensure optimal accuracy.

What if I don't have all the necessary tools?

  • Some tools, like a bow press or nocking pliers, can be borrowed or rented from a local archery shop. Alternatively, many archery stores offer bow tuning services for a fee.


And there you have it – a comprehensive guide on how to tune a recurve bow!

With some practice and patience, you'll soon be on your way to achieving greater accuracy, smoother shots, and a more enjoyable archery experience.

Just remember to keep an eye on your bow's tuning over time, as even the best-maintained bows can fall out of tune with regular use.

Now, go forth and conquer those targets like the archery master you're destined to be!